Regret in this context is realizing that I have done something I wish I had not and (maybe) having the insight to not do it again. Growth. Growth hurts sometimes. I am going to make myself vulnerable and share my biggest regret (to date, I am sure there will be more) regarding the show. It does not involve an interview going south, or an interview we did not score, or an episode that did not go well. It involves my mother.
For those who listen to the show on a regular basis, you know about the loss of my mother in late 2020. Losing mom was never going to be easy, but I am confident losing mom during a global pandemic surely did not make it any easier. I had to stay safe and healthy to keep her safe and healthy, which meant isolating myself from the world during the hardest moments of my life. My circle was small, exceedingly small, and included obligatory people that I did not even feel safe around. Luckily, my circle of course included Ken, who held it all together on days I just could not. My grounding compass.
You are probably wondering what one has to do with the other; the show vs. losing my mother. My regret comes in the form of never telling mom about Grim Dystopian…
I spent the first two years of the show ‘in hiding’. If you knew about Grim Dystopian, it meant you were part of the scene or in some way part of the show (and I thank you for that). I never showed my face on social media, and I went by the moniker ‘Fefe Kicks’. Why? My anxiety coupled with our society, stereotypes, social media…the list goes on. Life is not easy for any of us sometimes, and I am no exception. Living with sometimes debilitating anxiety is extremely challenging. What ifs, doubts, racing thoughts, worry, caring way too much about what people think…
When music is aired on radio stations – regardless of content – it is perfectly acceptable. While you are sitting in your office at work, you can listen to songs about sippin’ sizzurp, school shootings, and wet ass pussy because mainstream society has considered it acceptable. Underground metal, however, is considered offensive – again – regardless of content.
Then we have the stereotypes that come along with heavy metal. People often assume heavy metal fans are violent, drunk, devil worshipping, evil, racist, loser assholes. Could not be farther from the truth. I mean, there are people that fill all those shoes out there, but there are shitty individuals in any group of people with a common denominator. I could go on about this forever, but I will spare you.
I am no expert, but I am fairly certain that if mankind cared less about what other people liked, the world would be a happier place. OR, if you care, care less out of judgement and more out of wonder and compassion. I mentioned early on in my blog adventure that metal is one of the only outlets I have found to help with my anxiety.
This mentality of caring from a place of judgement about what everyone else is doing and liking is exactly why I did not tell my mother about the show. I own that, it is not anyone else’s fault but my own. I am trying to balance who I am in a mainstream world that does not really understand me, and I have this infinite need to be accepted by everyone. I hate it, but truth be told, if you do not want to be my friend because of the show or my love for metal, I do not want to be yours either. I find myself in constant battle with this, but I am figuring it out.
I should have told my mother about this huge, awesome part of my life; part of who I am (she knew about my love of metal, but not about the show). She would have supported me; she would have believed in me. She would have listened. She would have loved me just the same, if not more, for sharing some of me with her, and with all of you. She would have screamed it from the rooftops and told everyone she knew how many episodes we have published, how many countries we have been downloaded in – and that is exactly why I did not tell her. My inability to be comfortably me in an uncomfortable world.
I mentioned earlier that regret (in this context) is realizing that I have done something I wish I had not and (maybe) having the insight to not do it again. I wish I told mom, and the only way we could think to fix it was to tell Ken’s mom. She, of course, has been our biggest cheerleader. She takes notes every week and sends a group text with all her commentary and feedback. She participates, and she loved being a guest on the show (episode 151). She knew about the show before we told her (we obviously did not know that), and I know she had hurt feelings that we kept it from her. That clearly was not intentional. It is an uncomfortable world.
I learned the hard way that it is okay to be me, to not be accepted by everyone, to be different (just don’t be an asshole!). In fact, those of you reading my blogs prefer different, and I love you for it. Every single person I encounter as Grim Dystopian gives me a push in the right direction, and I am forever grateful to those who have stuck by my side while I become comfortably me.
Be comfortably you in an uncomfortable world.